HomeWayne's WorldA Sweltering Problem Begs For A Cool Solution

A Sweltering Problem Begs For A Cool Solution

By Wayne Chan

I found out recently that I will be traveling to China sometime in August. Let the sweating begin.

How hot is it, you ask?

It’s a brutally humid, suffocating heat. I suppose it’s good that it’s humid because if it were a dry heat, visitors like me might spontaneously burst into flames.

It’s so hot Chinese tourists spend their summers on African safaris just so they can “beat the heat.” It’s so hot you can put a bowl of ice outside and watch how the ice just dissipates into the air, bypassing the whole “ice melting” stage.

It’s that kind of hot. At least it is for me.

I am quite sure that the last time I traveled to China in the summer, I made a vow that I would never go back to China in the summer. Yet, here I am again, going to China in the summer. I think there’s a conspiracy going on between the people issuing Visas and my wife who would like to see me lose some weight.

Of course, China and the rest of Asia have long since discovered air conditioning. It’s in all modern buildings, from hotels, restaurants and businesses far and wide. It’s just not in any of the places I go when I’m on business.

I’ve tried everything. I started out bringing a hotel towel with me wherever I went. It didn’t really keep me cool but at least I could keep myself from looking like I just came out of a “Singing in the Rain” dance rehearsal.

I once brought a battery-powered fan but that didn’t do the trick. I then put my faith in the promise of high technology and bought a battery-powered, personal cooling doodad that wraps around your neck and is supposed to keep you cool. Of course, a side effect from wearing this contraption was that it made me look like a complete idiot, but what’s a little embarrassment when it comes to my personal comfort?

Unfortunately, it didn’t work, so the only thing I accomplished was to give the impression that the latest fad in the West was for grown men to wear shiny new dog collars.

So, in my latest bout of desperation, I have searched far and wide and I believe I’ve finally come up with the perfect solution to keep me from sweltering in another hot summer in China.

I’ve asked my brother to go instead of me.

Unfortunately, I’m just kidding. I’m still going, but I do think I may really have solved the problem.

Last week, while surfing on the web, I came across a website devoted to products to help soothe sore muscles and other body aches. One of the products was an ice pack that gets ice cold without the use of a freezer or refrigerator. By shaking the bag, the pack goes through some kind of chemical reaction and instantly becomes ice cold for about an hour.

Instant cold? Someone must be smiling down on me.

Of course, reading the fine print on the back of the ice pack has a way of yanking me back to reality. In very tiny print, it reads:

Caution. Ice pack capable of extreme cold. Prolonged exposure can cause redness, swelling, frostbite, possible hypothermia, loss of circulation, and other health issues related to extreme cold.

Of course, let’s not forget the added effect of me looking like a complete idiot. But what’s a little embarrassment, some swelling, a touch of hypothermia, and a loss of feeling on my neck when it comes to my own personal, umm…where the heck did I put that battery-powered fan?

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